PostHeaderIcon Evil Change or Predictable Doldrum?


First, special thank you to Grace Loudon who posted a teaser to this article on her Tumblr site.

A fascinating and unfortunately truthful commentary on MMO's (Massive Multiplayer Online) 'virtual worlds' and really strikes home. At least it does for me. It's a really good read.

The portion of the article Grace quoted is repeated here:

Slowly we fall out of love with our virtual world but somehow we stay addicted to the grind. We in effect make a Faustian bargain with our virtual world; we replace what should be hours of danger and excitement with the comfort of predictability. We become like the husband and wife that can barely tolerate each other but we stay together because we feel safe and secure with the devil we know.

So I ask does this ring true for you, too?

I've been in SL since May, 2006 and it was certainly exciting for me. The initial awe of the world on my screen and the additional amusement in the knowing that everything I saw was created by others, like me, who also are mere 'visitors' to this vast place.

I was amazed at the size of the Second Life landscape. There was and still is no way in hell I or anyone else could even attempt to see it all. And on top of that everything is more or less temporary as people's (creators) interests change, or they tire of one thing and move-on to another and so on.

I think we all do that, don't we? We explore excitedly. They we discover what there is and something catches our attention, we lurk and learn then participate. For me it was the social aspect, dance clubs and just plain shopping around, making a few close friends.

Random PortraitThen, of course, there is the 'south-side of the tracks' aspect. The part of SL we often read about in the news. And it caught my attention like it often does for most. Then there are the role-playing genre areas of SL and even that is vast and diverse.

Vampire; medieval; Gor; science fiction like Star Wars, Star Trek, and so on. Also fantasy, and within that; specifically Fae (faerie), Dragon, Elven, Vampire (again) and so on. Often there is a mish-mash of these genres making your role-playing choices vast and large.

If you are among these throngs who choose to actively role play within a community how long do your role-playing friends hang around? I don't mean specifically within your particular community such as a Gorean City (sim) - but within that genre entirely (for example Gor as a whole)?

In my three years in SL I've experienced and experimented in a lot of genres, both organized and "loose" role play and non-role-play, business ventures and all of that. But inevitably it all becomes predictable and mundane after a while. Sometimes it takes a lot longer than other times.

And when one becomes apathetic with their current SL 'life" or situation, one moves-on and likely wanders around a bit. But you've done that already when first coming into SL. So you explore other role playing genre's and perhaps one will catch your fancy.

I remember the thrill and excitement I felt when I finally managed to obtain a full-sized Dragon (Daryth Kennedy) back when no such thing existed in SL at the time. And it was a difficult challenge as only 50 of these avatars were released at a time, only once every three months and a matter of clicking the "buy" button faster than the other guy - meaning 50 people made it into this exclusive club and about 60 or 70 did not and had to wait another three months to try again.

StormThis at a time when it was easy to crash a sim simply by having so many people on it. And all of them trying to click a prim, select "buy" and make a payment at the same time all on the word "go!". But once I managed to get my dragon and be invited to the exclusive "Council of Wyrms" group. The only group I have kept so long (since Winter 2006) and refuse to leave.

No. Matter. What.

But once I had conquered that challenge, the shiny wore off a bit. Now that I am a member of that group, I am able to purchase any dragon avatar at a discount at any time. So I did. I now have three or four of them. I did some grid-hopping as a dragon looking for others. After not finding any as they all usually would hang-out at the sim of origination, it became boring real fast.

So I 'moved-on". Discovered Grendel's Children (it was brand-spanking new at that time) and decided to play with a few looks I got from there. But again, the newness wore-off after a while.

As for role play scenarios, there is the human aspect. Attitudes and drama. This is cause for a lot of people to move-on, too. Sure, they will stick it through for a time. But eventually things become monotonous, stale, uninteresting. Much like the quote above.

What jumped out at me in the original article is the "Box-top Warning" the original author suggests be included with all MMO software. I volunteer any Second Life Grid viewer, from Linden Lab or after-market.

Warning: This virtual world is full of predictable and safe gameplay. Things rarely change here. You will most likely fall into a daily routine and your experiences will rarely change from day to day. If anyone or anything disrupts your fun please contact our helpful Gamemasters. Please stay safe and have fun while you are a guest in our world!

[From Wolffshead Online]

/me snickers.

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